SALT LAKE CITY, UT (Good Things Utah) – Boxing is one of the oldest sports still around today, going back almost 5,000 years, and has become more popular than ever in recent years. Joe Bish, owner of the Die Standing boxing club in Salt Lake City, joined us to talk about his gym and brought some of his students with him to talk about their success and demonstrate their skills.

Joe’s boxing club is in an alternative school, and he works with the district to help troubled kids graduate while also training them in boxing skills and teaching them to compete. Boxing is a difficult sport, and these skills help translate to kids’ real lives, making them more resilient when facing challenges.

Since 2018, 100 kids have graduated from Die Standing, and he takes his students all over the country for competitions. Dillan Nguyen, a 19-year-old boxer, has been boxing for almost 6 years, and is heading to the Olympic boxing qualifiers. 

Dillan said that when he was younger, he was a troubled and overweight kid, and boxing really helped him overcome the difficulties he faced through childhood. He is now 7th in the country for boxing, and while he is sweet, inside the ring you have to turn into an “animal”.

Jon Bryant, another boxer who joined us today, also talked about his troubled past and how he used to fight in the streets, but mentioned that boxing helped him use his skills for something better. As Utah’s undefeated welterweight champion, Jon said that discipline is where his success comes from, and part of this discipline means that he gives up junk food and trains constantly. 

Joe, Jon, and Dillan demonstrated some of their training sessions, which usually starts with stretching and jump rope to warm them up. They then throw jabs, work on technique with the training mitts, and the students work with each other to sharpen their skills. Make sure you have a strong stance, with the opposite leg of your lead hand forward. If Dillan and Jon aren’t focused, they will likely take a hit to the face. 

Joe’s gym has helped these two become great boxers, but is now in trouble due to problems with state funding from the district. Without this boxing club, many troubled kids would have nowhere to go, and he wants to be able to keep helping kids like Dillan and Jon find their passion and unlock their potential. He is asking people of the community to help the gym stay open so troubled youth in Salt Lake City can find somewhere to call home.

To help out Joe’s boxing club, you can Venmo them at @diestanding and any amount will help keep this club open for the kid’s of the community. You can also find them on Instagram at @die_standing_boxing to find more information!